Repetition advantage and disadvantage in perceptual identification tasks3

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Repetitive presentation of a stimulus brings not only advantage but also disadvantage when performing perceptual identification tasks. In this study, the conflicting phenomena of the effect of repetition were examined using two Kana character sets (Hiragana and Katakana) as stimuli. Two identical or different stimuli were presented in rapid succession and participants were asked to identify and report them. The stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) between the two stimuli was varied from 200 ms to 1200 ms, according to which the suitable temporal conditions for the two distinct effects of repetition were explored. The results indicated that two distinct effects of repetition occurred depending on the informational code shared by the two stimuli. An interference effect of repetition was observed with SOA values of up to 500 ms when the two stimuli were identical in terms of their visual pattern code (Hiragana), whereas a superior effect of repetition was observed with an SOA value of 200 ms when they were identical only in terms of their phonological code (Hiragana and Katakana). From these findings, the author proposes that when two identical stimuli are presented in rapid succession, inhibition and activation mechanisms may function at different levels of processing.

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